Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy the long days and ever-reliable British sunshine! But before you jump in the car and zoom off on your holidays, BK Tyres have some Summer driving tips for you.
1. Stop running winter tyres
Thousands of UK motorists have discovered the benefits of winter tyres. In snow or at low temperatures, they offer massive advantages in safety and handling. At 30 mph, winter tyres will stop you on snow 8m sooner.
However, winter tyres are specifically designed for low temperatures. Above 7 C – and even the most miserable British summer manages that – their performance is worse than summer tyres. They don’t grip so well in dry conditions than the best summer tyres, leading to increased braking distance and poorer handling.
If you’re still running winter tyres, we recommend a seasonal refit.
2. Make some simple checks
The RAC report a 20% increase in call-outs during the holiday season, rising to 30% in coastal regions. Many of these call-outs could have been avoided with a few simple checks before starting. For example, the RAC note that their most common reasons for call-outs include problems with convertible roofs, air conditioning breakdowns, overheating and – in really hot summers – seized-up bonnet release catches.
Of course, you can leave it to your emergency services to fix these issues. But waiting at the roadside is a boring, frustrating start to anyone’s holiday. Better to check your air-con, convertible roof, coolant levels, cooling fans and even the bonnet catch before you start – or get the garage to do it.
3. Those fluid levels again
It’s so important, it’s worth mentioning twice: check your fluid levels. In summer, the demands on your engine cooling systems are much greater, so coolant is a must. But as you have the bonnet up, now’s the time to check your oil and windscreen washer levels too. Don’t forget fuel, of course. 800,000 drivers a year run out of fuel – make sure you’re not one of them.
4. Organise for safety
It’s amazing how much stuff a typical family crams into their car for a long-distance trip: phones, headphones, tissues, drinks, food, wallets, bags, glasses cases – the list goes on and on. It’s really worth taking five minutes to organise the essentials before you start. When the whole family starts playing hunt-the-indispensable-item, it can be a serious distraction for the driver. And that has safety implications for everyone in the vehicle.
5. Carry the essentials
A simple checklist of items can save so much hassle. The RAC’s checklist applies all year round, but as you’re likely to be further away from home during the summer, it makes even more sense to ensure you’re carrying:
- first aid kit
- warning triangle
- high-vis jackets
- fire extinguisher
- spare fuel can
- bottled water (for topping up)
- light bulb kit
- road map or sat-nav
- mobile phone
- in-car mobile phone charger
And our most important tip for summer driving…
Check. Your. Tyres.
We know it’s obvious, but tyres are the only point of contact between you and the road. Ensuring they are in adequate condition is vital for your safety and the safety of other road users. If they need replacing, remember that our mobile service covers the whole of South Oxfordshire, and we’re only a phone call away.